I got this comment on Reel Girl today:
I just wanted to say thank you so much for making this post on female pilots and the lack of recognition towards important female war heroes. As a female pilot in training, hearing about great female pilots is always encouraging especially when aviation is so dominated by males. It’s disgusting with what happened to the WASPs, it just goes to show the existing sexism towards females in our North American society. I’m so sick of it, but I’m really glad I found your blog.
Thanks again for making this post, shortly after I found it I used the WASPs’ story and made a poem about them for an English Language Arts assignment.
Oh and regarding the movie “Planes” I tried watching it despite having little hope for the story and characters being any bit original. Let’s just say that I gagged when the one female plane glomped the sidekick male plane, and covered him in kisses after he “whooed” her with music the previous night. It made me sick on so many levels, I’m so glad I only watched it online…
Here is the poem she wrote, I love it.
We are the WASP
The women who flew,
60 million miles or more.
Two years of service,
the men demand our lore.
but we didn’t quit.
The men may take glory,
but we still flew in our story.
Our achievements forgotten,
only known by few.
In history books erased,
schools without a trace.
Lest we forget,
The first women of wings.
We are the WASP,
the women who flew.
See how real life inspires art inspires real life?
I assume this commenter is a young woman. Imagine how kids feel when they see sexist scenes like the one in “Planes” again and again, like it’s normal and okay and cute. What kind of art do they make? What kind of imaginary games do they play? At my daughter’s preschool, a three year old girl told the teacher she couldn’t be a pilot, but a pilot’s wife. A three year old. Those limits on her imagination are our fault, grow-ups. Do we really want to train a new generation of children to accept gender stereotypes?
One more time, here’s the preview of Disney’s “Planes.”
Plane One: What’s taking this guy so long? Is he really as good as he says he is?
Plane Two: No, better.
Plane One: Whoa! Who was that?
Plane Three: (Descending fast on top of the other two) Well, hello ladies! Ready to lose?
Plane Three goes on to leave the “ladies” in the dust.
And here’s a photo of the real life WASPs
Women, please tell your stories, real and fictional, and tell them publicly. It will change the world.